Could Sandsend become the next hot property market on the Yorkshire coast?
PUBLISHED: 00:00 09 October 2018
Copyright: John Potter 2015
Why the fascination with this popular village on the Yorkshire coast? Richard Darn goes exploring.
You need to be quick off the mark to become a home owner in Sandsend. This exquisite little East Coast village near Whitby is apparently one of Yorkshire’s property hotpots at the moment. According to local estate agents Henderson Property Services one small cottage in need of complete renovation attracted a horde of potential buyers on the first day of listing.
It was sold in double quick time with a guide price of £450,000.
So, why the fascination with Sandsend? Well, it helps when you have golden sands, the North York Moors to your back, and breathtaking views up and down the coast and out to sea.
In fact one international travel website exclaimed that if this was the South of France people would be raving about it.
You can walk from Whitby to Sandsend via a magnificent three-mile long beach, but you need to be careful to judge tide times to avoid being cut off. The proximity to Whitby is obviously a huge plus point with its beautiful old town, stark abbey ruins and plethora of fine dining alternatives, it is a destination rightly celebrated across the globe.
But Sandsend is nicely set apart from the frenzy of the tourist season.
Here you can enjoy an unfettered dip in the sea before breakfast and relish beach stargazing over a glass of champagne at night. Beachcombing for fossils is a popular pastime – this is dinosaur coast after all – and there are lovely woodland walks. Historic attractions also abound such as St Oswald’s Church in Lythe, with its fabulous 9th and 10th century Anglo Scandinavian carved stones.
A Geocache Arts Trail for families has also been devised by the Moor to Sea Project combining works by six North Yorkshire artists with a treasure hunt. ‘Sandsend has always been a favourite for families and now with the introduction of the geocache trail there is an added draw that will help keep the youngsters occupied,’ says Alison Goodwin, Moor to Sea Project officer for the North York Moors National Park. ‘We’ve designed the trail so it helps people connect more with the fantastic natural surroundings as well as the attractions that define our coastline. The illustrated booklet also makes a great souvenir after a day’s exploring in Sandsend.’ Pick up a leaflet from local shops.
Despite its picturesque character, Sandsend was a hard working place in the past, earning a living through fishing and mining alum. The latter was a huge boom industry in these parts – alum shale occurs in abundance and in the middle ages it was discovered to be a rich source of aluminium sulphate, a raw material used to fix dyes in cloth.
Creating fortunes for mine owners, the refining process was initially a carefully guarded secret, with the Pope enjoying a lucrative monopoly in the trade. But according to folklore he was undone by 17th century Yorkshire entrepreneurs who paid for Italian experts to be smuggled out of Italy in wine barrels to bring their priceless knowledge to England.
Relics of this industry can still be seen in the landscape and workers’ cottages are part of the local property stock. The grit and grind is all gone, but the story of alum adds a fascinating backstory and social history.
So you want to move here? Well don’t we all, but property will remain in short supply, not least because so many houses are in estate ownership, and buyers include both people who want to settle or secure a holiday home. But we can all dream, and to add a touch more magic to the place the beach at Sandsend is a favoured local spot to see the Northern Lights during their rare displays. An embarrassment of riches indeed.